Friday, June 27, 2008

Socializing

As a postscript to Wednesday's post about Jada's speech issues, an
important reason I want her to improve is so her social experiences
will improve. I haven't had a lot of time to observe Jada at day
care, but I do notice that she sometimes stands by herself, wanting in
on some circle of friends but probably uncomfortable because she can't
as easily join in on their conversation. When the interactions are
less about kids sitting around talking, she seems to do fine -
building blocks or drawing or running around. But when it's other
kinds of play that involve talking - telling stories, playing
make-believe, describing a picture - she withdraws a bit.

As she learns more words and gets more comfortable having
conversations, she'll likely open up a bit and have more positive
social interactions. Until then, it has heartened me to see some of
her classmates reach out to her and include her in things despite her
shyness and discomfort. I am reminded by these little children that
as Amy and I strive to surround Jada with resources and repetitions to
help her improve her cognition and her expression, that we must be
mindful to communicate our unconditional love, acceptance, and
affection for Jada, lest she become frustrated and get down on
herself. Despite her being behind, she is confident, happy, and
loved; as important as it will be for her to improve her speech, it
becomes all the more important through that process that we help her
to feel confident, happy, and loved.

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